Merrill Lynch has agreed to pay $131.8 million to settle claims it publicly touted two collateralized debt obligations without disclosing that a hedge fund had helped to craft the complex securities while betting they would fail, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday.
In many states, employers are just starting to see the impact of new legislation implementing the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act. Among other things, agreements with employees or former employees not to contest unemployment insurance benefit claims may now trigger heightened scrutiny from regulators, says Katharine Parker of Proskauer Rose LLP.
Even though the New York Stock Exchange has significantly reduced the number of matters with respect to which brokers may vote, brokers remain permitted to vote on the ratification of auditors, so companies will still be able to use the broker vote to help establish quorum, says Keir Gumbs of Covington & Burling LLP.
Although Amtrak is an entity with both public and private elements, it is not a true public-private partnership. But with the benefit of a properly designed P3, perhaps Amtrak will prove to be the savior of the passenger rail industry after all, say Albert Dotson Jr. and Eric Singer of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP.
The fast-food industry has recently fallen prey to coordinated demonstrations by a number of loosely affiliated groups, or “worker centers,” rallying around wages, benefits and other conditions. Unwary managers could be provoked into singling out those who break rank to join the demonstrators, thereby paving the way for unfair labor practice charges that fuel the underlying organizing effort, says Steven Bernstein of Fisher & Phillips LLP.
In the past year, small senior users alleging reverse confusion against large companies have been on the losing end in most decisions. A possible common thread in 2013 reverse confusion cases is a reluctance by courts to find senior trademarks conceptually strong. Courts are also placing significant weight on evidence of third-party use, says Floyd Mandell of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.
A recent decision from the D.C. Circuit is good news for banks facing an ongoing crush of garnishment litigation. The decision in Heiser v. Islamic Republic of Iran reduces the universe of blocked accounts that are subject to turnover under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and may persuade the Second Circuit to take the same approach in a pending appeal, say Mark Hanchet and Chris Houpt of Mayer Brown LLP.
Once band owners have reviewed the list of new generic top-level domains and their launch dates, they would be well suited to ring in the New Year with a proactive mindset. Gear up to P.O.L.I.C.E. your marks by focusing on planning, offense, leverage, informed defense, the clearinghouse and economics, say attorneys with Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.
The Second Circuit's recent decision reversing the municipal bond bid-rigging convictions of three former General Electric Co. officials provides an important limitation on the government’s efforts to extend the statute of limitations in financial crimes when there is a continuous flow of economic benefits to a conspirator, says Lathrop Nelson of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP.
To comply with California's new privacy law — which goes into effect Jan. 14 — online businesses must make sure their privacy policies clearly and accurately reflect their practices, and those of any third parties they have contracted with, concerning collection and tracking of personally identifiable information. Unless a business bars California residents from visiting its website, it will need to address the law’s requirements, says Jane Hils Shea of Frost Brown Todd LLC.
The mistakes that the Kentucky Supreme Court made in deciding Cincinnati v. Motorists were recently replicated in a Sixth Circuit decision. Perhaps it is time for the high court to do what it believed it was doing when it decided Cincinnati — bring itself into line with the majority rule by overturning that decision and finding that faulty workmanship can be a covered “occurrence” under a commercial general liability policy, says Carl Salisbury of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.